We recently sold our '95 grand am that had it's fair share of cosmetic problems, a dent in the fender, broken headlight, rattling inside the car from it simply being driven down all dirt roads the last 3 years of it's life, but the engine and the transmission were solid. You could not kill that car. But my husband drove it every day and the little things wrong with it were really bothering him. So we agreed LAST YEAR if he could go one more year driving that car, this year we would buy him a nice new used car with income tax.
So this years income tax comes and used car prices were about out of this world outrageous. Everyone was asking wayyyyy to much for what they were offering and we wasted a lot of time looking at junkers that were in worse shape then what he was driving. So we waited and waited and finally we thought our ship had come in.
We found a 1999 taurus with only 52,000 miles on it. When we went to check it out, we got the story from the owners dad (owner was a young kid) but the bottom line was, the "dad" knew the entire history of the car and he bought it for his son's girlfriend back in october when she didn't have a car and then of course, come december, they broke up and now his son had one to many cars so he needed to sell one, which the son wanted to keep his truck and sell the car. So theres the background info.
Anyways, we test drove it, twice, on the highway and on back roads. We crawled in and out and under that car, checked the fluids, checked for leaks, etc. The dad told us he had changed the front brakes in october and put on new tires as well, which seemed to be true. He insisted he knew nothing wrong with the car, and what he did know, he did tell us. But they were minor problems, the check engine light was on, but he said it was tested and it was the 02 sensor, which our other car had that problem as well, and an auto parts store confirmed that for us.
So the car to begin with was 500.00 out of our price range but we asked if he would take less and he agreed so we left after us giving him every red cent we had and came home with a new to us car. This car isn't any cheap 500.00 car either. The asking price was $4000.00, but we gave him $3500.00.
Now here's what is so frustrating.
When we got it home that first day I thought I smelled coolant. But I didn't want to say anything cause I thought perhaps I was just worrying over nothing. But after my family left (came to check it out) my husband mentioned that he thought he smelled coolant. So since it was sunday we couldn't really do much about it. But the next day on monday, he asked me to take it up to a local mechanic in town that our family uses and have him check it out. So I did, and 70.00$ later, I got the call that a clamp was pretty rusted on the rad. hose and he replaced that and topped off the coolant for us. He said he didn't see anything else wrong with it.
We waited 1 week after buying that car, to put plates on it and insure it, cause we couldn't afford it the first week. So 150.00 later it was a driveable car. Yippeee!
Two days after my husband drove it to work, he came home and told me he didn't have any brakes. So we limped it to my dads house and he checked it out for us. We realized the brakes lines had actually rusted completely through in about a 3in spot. So they limped it up to the mechanic and had new brake lines installed on it for 125.00$.
So then we thought, ok this is it ... now we have a dependable car to drive WITH brakes ... and he did drive it the next week, for two days. Until he came home and said he didn't have any back brakes. So we limped it back down to my dads house where my dh and dad checked out the back brakes and realized that the driver side caliper (?) was froze shut and that needed to be replaced. As well as the pads and rotors. So another 150.00$ later we think, ok THIS IS IT .. what else can go wrong with this car?
Well, yesterday my husband calls me and says ... I noticed some coolant under the car this morning, not bad, just a few drips. I checked it out at work and it looks like maybe another hose clamp is bad, but I can probably change that out myself. Yeah, ok. So anyways he gets home last night and says, a strange thing happened on my way home from work today with the car. And so I said yeah what now (cause at this point I'm so frustrated and EXTREMELY broke I could cry) he says, well the oil light kept flicking on and off, just a few times when I was at a light or a stop sign. So he checks it out online and what could cause that (cause the oil was full) anyways he started rambling on about what it could be, but to be honest I just tuned him out.
I am so heart sick over the money we have put out for this car, the money we don't really have to put out in the first place, and what could possibly be wrong with it now. Plus I have to listen to my husband repeatedly tell me he never wanted a car older then 2000 and this is what happens when you buy a 99. So I told him, look, 1 year is not going to make or break a car .. besides, we had a 2000 prizm two years ago and the motor blew on that so there is no guarantee a 2000 wouldn't of had these problems. I know he is just as frustrated as I am, but I am also the worrier in the family, how will we pay for the NEXT repair, what car will we drive if this one goes, all that kind of stuff that he doesn't think about like I do.
Sorry this is so long .. I'm just so worried and stressed out over everything. I just needed to vent it out.
I sure can feel for you! I remember those kind of days - my DH was a mechanic the first 10 years of our marriage. I am thankful for that, we usually only had to buy the parts, he would do the labor.
Not that it makes you feel any better - we have a brand new Toyota and it is one of the ones that has the recalls on it. So even buying brand new has issues soemtimes.
My husband bought a used car from a Hundai dealer thinking it would be safer than buying a used car from a private sale, no luck. One week after buying the car two tires went flat at the same time. Then after fixing that that a third tire went flat, then the air stopped working, we live in Fl and having a car without air can be really bad. Then the windsheild wipers broke during a bad rain storm. One of the headlights has stopped working, and the brakes are giving us problems. I hate cars.
I'm so sorry to hear all that's happened, that car sounds like my mini van......always something. I too have the check engine light on and was told it was the 02 sensor (not that I have a clue what that is) and my oil light comes on every time I stop at a stop light and goes off again when i push the gas (have no idea why that's happening either......too bad you tuned out your DH lol)
my airbag light is on (mechanic says, not sure why...but it pretty much means if you get in an accident your airbag won't deploy..........OH GREAT!) and my windshield wiper broke this winter, so my DH put the arm to the wiper out...so the arm wouldn't scratch the windshield....well I went to the store, hit a bump and the wiper arm hit the windshield and cracked the whole thing!! AND now my car feels like one of the tires is going to wobble right off of it and I don't have a DIME to get any one of these things fixed!!
So believe me, I know exactly how you feel!!!!
yes cars are the WORST! Maybe the previous owner of this car did not know all these things were going wrong with it, he acted like an honest man, I mean, he seemed to be the "dad" type you know? Like he acted how my dad would act, if someone was going to buy a car off him. He seemed to be just an honest genuine run of the mill guy. But I can't help but feel a lot of anger towards him, and I cant stop. Like I want to e mail this guy back and tell him look at what you sold us! But I haven't and I won't because who really knew if he was lying or telling the truth. But 3500.00 doesn't just fall off trees in our yard. That was all our income tax money and now we are stealing from peter to pay paul to keep this car on the road.
I am sorry you guys are going through this as well. My mom told me to sell off the car before it blows the engine, but like I told her, who says' the next car will be any better off you know?
I just feel sick we sold our dependable "beater" for this car.
well, I too, am sorry you are going through all this. I remember the days when all our cars were broke and we had to borrow a car to get to work, there is no mass transit where i'm at so you have to have a car.
All i want to tell you is i sympathize and just keep thinking things will get better.
Oh and 20 years ago, i bought my first and only brand new car, 3 months after purchase i drove it to work, and the damn thing burned up in the parking lot. So as someone already stated there are no guarantees even buying new.
A newer Taurus probably wouldn't have been any better. Ours is a 2001 and we had to replace the transmission at 70,000 miles. We would have ditched it then but we still had three years of payments to make, so the only option other than fixing the transmission was to have the loan added onto a newer car and that would have made our payment like $500 a month for a Ford Focus. Anyhow, we fixed the transmission but the car has had other problems too.
One problem we had was that the plastic reservoir for the coolant developed a crack and we had a coolant leak. We bought the part from a salvage yard for $40 and put it on ourselves.
Our check engine light is permanently on. There's a valve that it says needs cleaned out, but when we have done that, the light goes off for a day or two then comes back on.
The brakes do have to be done every couple years. I think that's normal though, especially with such a heavy car. If you have jack stands you can do the brakes yourself. I do ours and it's kind of a grimy job but it's not difficult at all. I recently replaced the pads and one of the rotors and it cost me $50 for the parts. It took less than an hour to do. Rear brakes are more complicated though, I think.
It developed a major oil leak recently but that turned out to be a fairly simple fix which I was able to do in our driveway...the filter was loose.
The air conditioning only works when it wants to. There's a blend door problem with most fords. Ours has it but during the summer we rig it with a deck of cards and a rubber band.
Also, the car drives a lot better if we warm it up for 5 minutes before we go anywhere. Otherwise, it will shudder and lurch its way down the road.
I'll never have another Taurus but after how much this one cost us, we're going to drive it until it totally falls apart (think that car at the end of the Blues Bros movie ).
Y'all should check the engine mounts...open the hood and rev the engine while your husband looks under the hood. If the engine is moving back and forth you need engine mounts replaced, which doesn't cost much...but if you don't have it done the transmission will eventually fail.
thank you texasrose. My husband realllllllllly wanted a 200- taurus, but those just were not in the price range for us. I had to convince him to buy this car, and now because of all these problems, I feel worse that I was the one who pushed the car. Your post made me feel bad for what you are going through, but relieved to know a newer car may not have been any better.
I have heard that transmissions tend to go out on these cars around the 70,000 mile mark. I also read quite a few reviews on the cracked coolant reservoir. My dh actually joined a ford taurus group online, that is how we learned about the coolant bottle problem.
We did the back brakes ourselves and while they were easy, it was costly because we had to replace more then just the pads and rotors, the rear caliper (?) was 50.00 on top of what the pads and rotors cost. Thankfully those SHOULDN'T have to be done again anytime to soon.
We have to turn our key forward to the on position for a few seconds, then turn it off, then turn it forward again before we can start the car up. Otherwise it just cranks and cranks and then starts up. We figured that one out on our own.
I am not familiar with the blend door problem? Could you tell me how you fix it with a rubber band and a deck of cards?
I will have my husband check out the engine mounts tonight after work.
Thanks for all the tips!
Well after reading this I am definately not going to buy the car I was looking at, its not expensive but needs body work and we noticed it burning oil after we drove it.
I have a 99 sable we have had radiator revsivour issues too I think it may actually be the thermostat instead.
As for your oil light flickering you need to have the filter checked to make sure it is seated properly, make sure the plug is back in the oil pan and check your level Hubby used to work for a fast lube tyoe business and he taught me some things.
Good luck with the car mabey things will get better
thanks mrspriss .. I actually used to work in a fast lube joint for 6 years myself, so we checked all the fluid levels and plugs and filter .. everything there was good.
My dh noticed tonight that as he was putting up his automatic window, when it got to the top, and it took just a little more power to close it all the way, the oil light flickered again. The car was idling in the driveway. He seems to think it is an electrical problem of some sort. Who knows. I just really hope this is the last of the problems we encounter for a long, long time.
The blend door is up underneath the dashboard. It regulates the flow of cold or hot air through the air conditioner. We noticed that when we would go over a bump, the air would go from hot to cold or vice versa. If yours doesn't do that, then it might not have the same default as ours. They do sell kits to fix it but we just didn't feel like spending the money on it, plus to fix it you have to pull out the dash. So instead when it was blowing cold air, we parked and looked up underneath the dash, then figured out where it was and wedged the deck of cards into the opening and secured it with the rubber band. We probably could have used something better but that's what was in the glove compartment.
I know that feeling.... we took our truck to get inspected.... well... that was 250.00 for "fix" something.... that was 1 week ago... now my door open light is on... which keeps the inside light on so here I am driving at night and looks like a display at a pastry shop...
When it rains.... IT POURS!!!!
thanks texas rose, we haven't noticed that yet but will be more aware of it ...
dalis4joe that is to funny ..
Our driver side door does not lock (at all) and the light on the dash also thinks the door is open, but it does not trigger the inside light. If it does, that light doesn't work, which is possible. It would just be added to the "list"
Ok so my bro works for ford as a parts man but if you want to send me the list of stuff wrong then mabey he could give you some insight as to the problems I know that buying parts from a dealer is more expensive but if we can figure out what it is then call your local parts shop and do some price comparision and figure some of this out he is always willing to listen to me and tell me what is what or at the least ask the mechanics in the shop it usually only cost me a cake or a tray of goodies for the guys in the parts dept. Pretty reasonable price for me. I will help you if i can I know how it feels to have one thing after another with cars
I am so, so sorry this is happening to you On the upside though, I think you and your hubby did everything you could to make sure it was okay before you bought it. I know you are angry with the seller(I would be too) but since it was his son's car, maybe he just told you what he was told. It could have been sitting for a while too, so maybe no one knew there was anything wrong. It happens, but it sucks when it does. My best advice is to keep your head up and remember that this too shall pass
thanks you guys .. thanks mrspriss for the offer. This is the first week we were able to drive the car the entire week without it having to be parked. There is a coolant leak, but my dh says it is from a hose up front, he is sure he can replace that himself. The oil light flickered one more time since the first time it did it. Dh thinks he needs to check the fuel pressure to make sure it is getting enough. We changed out the fuel filter nothing but what appeared to be pure orange rust came out of it so he thinks the injectors are somewhat clogged, but to test the fuel pressure we have to rent a tool and it is 150.00, which is not in the budget right now. I hope no one else has any more car troubles either!
I learned A lot about auto repair from having used cars FOREVER! I got my first new car in 2005 and made sure to get ALL the exetended warranties.
Anyways. The best investment you can make is the Haynes or Chiltons manual for your car. They are available at most parts stores for like $20 I always buy the manual when i buy a used car. If your husband has good common sense he should be able to do most of the work with the manual.
I do all the mechanical work on my daughters 2003 VW jetta and it has had a lot of problems ! Most autozones and Kragen auto parts will loan you specialty tools , you just put down a deposit and they give it back when you return the tool. so there is really no need to buy an expensive tool you might only use once.
I use to have a 2002 mazda 626 that i was always working on. Didn't know it when I got it but it is basicly a Ford probe. The first thing to change is the fuel filter then run some fuel injector cleaner through . The fuel pressure has nothing to do with the oil light but the coolant problem could. They oil may be hovering in the hot zone if the coolant isnt circulating proplery, or it could just need an oil change , they oil could be at the breaking point and unstable. not sure if you have done that yet but if the car had been parked for a while most of the liquids will need to be changed, just because they are full doesn't mean they are good.
I am sorry you ended up with a lemon, but don't beat yourself up about it it doesn't matter what year the car was it could have had just as many problems even if it was a 2008!
The best used car i ever had was a 1994 Chrysler Concorde with 205,000 miles on it ! it never gave me even 1 problem untill some idiot plowed into the back of me at a red light and totaled it!
I hope you get all the kinks worked out and it all ends up ok in the long run!
we did change out the fuel filter, that was some nasty stuff coming out of there! We also ran the fuel injector cleaner through it as well. The oil was changed about 2000 miles ago. We did check the coolant and the level was extremely overfilled, I think from when we took it in for it's first inspection. So we used a turkey baster and brought it down to the proper level. So far we haven't seen any more leaks so we were thinking maybe it was hot and had no where to go other then out a hose? a clamp? I just hope it fixed the problem!